A thought leader is someone whose ideas and opinions have a significant impact on a community or industry, especially in a business environment.
In addition, the knowledge of a thought leader on a particular subject or niche is widely respected by other experts in a given field, as they have a reputation for tackling problems, offering solutions and providing critical insights.
It’s important to note that there is no singular characteristic as to what makes someone a thought leader. Instead, it’s about combining knowledge and experience, and communicating this effectively to your audience, that allows you to place yourself as a brand with authority; a brand people can trust.
But how exactly do you become a thought leader? Here are our top 3 tips to establish your leadership and grow your company’s influence.
Create Valuable Content
Thought leaders don’t just talk about how great they are.
Rather, true thought leaders create content that offers solutions to their target audience’s biggest pain points, even if it is not directly related to their product or service.
Doing this will help you build trust with your audience as they’ll see you as more than just another company trying to sell them something.
Some examples of valuable content include blogging about trends and challenges within your industry, writing case studies from a customers perspective or publishing a white paper about how your product or service fits within the industry.
Simply, you need to get your voice out into the world. This can also include making announcements about changes with your company, and celebrating news to make your company appear more human and accessible.
Or you can provide advice by answering questions in the form of blogs, sharing your expertise in a way that benefits your audience.
Engage with your Audience
Almost everyone is on social media.
And social media can help you project your thought leadership efforts and as a result, grow your following.
But before you do this, make sure you take the time to really get to your customers, or at least the type of customers you want to attract.
To help you, create customer profiles and learn where they spend most of their time so you have a better understanding of which social media platforms will give you the best ROI; when you know your audience, you can grow your audience.
On the other hand, this also means getting personal with your audience. Thought leadership involves branding yourself in a particular way.
And actually, people do not just admire thought leaders for sharing their insights, but who they are as people. If you’re training for a marathon, share it. If you like to bake, share it. It’s OK to show people the whole you and not just your professional side.
At the end of the day, being boring doesn’t sell. Your brand and personality is unique, show your audience your personal quirks, style of speech or humour – engage with your audience as you and not who you think they want to hear from.
Network With Influencers
Don’t be afraid to engage and network with your competition.
Naturally, a lot of businesses are hesitant to follow influencers in their niche but instead of hiding, you should actively engage with their content to not only expand your knowledge, but to get inspiration for your own content too.
Plus, influencers already have an established audience who respect them and listen to their advice before making a purchase and by engaging with them, they open up new channels to position your brand and gain more exposure.
In addition, social media sites like LinkedIn provide an open platform for both businesses and individuals to engage in industry-specific conversations about current events, challenges and solutions. Be sure to comment in on these and share your opinions, to give wider audiences a new perspective.
Moreover, networking within your industry can help to build valuable relationships to even collaborate with them in the future – win/win!
Establishing yourself as a thought leader will not be a walk in the park.
It requires hard work and effort, patience and perseverance. You can’t just expect people to follow you, but these tips above will help you to start building trust with your audience and take those first steps to becoming a brand that holds authority within your niche.
As long as you keep working on it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the reputation you’ve built for yourself and the brand.
In the meantime, check our digital marketing services to find out how we can help you along your journey of becoming a thought leader.
In addition, we also made a video on how to work on your personal brand, that you can check here, and will aid in your efforts to become a thought leader: